Adapted from one of chef David Burke's creations, the original version of this recipe already had Cheddar cheese in it, but we gave it an extra dose with Cheez-It crackers.
Special thanks to Patricia Stagich of Comfy Cuisine for helping us test this recipe.
Cut the butter into ¼-inch cubes. With your fingers, blend the butter into the flour, sugar, Cheez-Its, and salt until it becomes pea-sized granules. Mix in the vodka and soda water. Divide the dough into two disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until ready to use.
Toss the apples in the zest and juice. In a large sauce pan, cook the butter until brown and nutty. Add the apples and stir. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the apples are al dente. Don’t overcook. Pour filling onto sheet pan and let cool to at least room temperature
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out 1 disk of dough into a 16-inch circle that is ¼-inch thick. Line a deep-fluted-removable bottom tart pan with dough. Trim the top so that the dough is flush. Fill with the apples. Roll the second dish of dough to a 14-by-20 inch rectangle and cut into 1-inch strips to make a lattice on the top of the pie. Bake 1 hour. Remove the pie from the oven and grate 2 ounces of aged Cheddar cheese with a microplane over the top. Bake for 10 minutes more to brown the cheese.